Field Garlic - Allium oleraceum


Medium to tall plant.  Leaves 3 to 4, linear to thread-like hollow and circular below, but channelled above and prominently ribbed sheathing at least the lower half of the stem. Spathe with 2 valves which are persistent and do not quickly wither away, greatly exceeding the umbel with long tails up to 20 cm.  Flowers whitish tinged with green, pink or brown, often rather dingy looking, bell shaped, and 6 to 7 mm long in an uneven umbel with the outer flowers drooping down on slender stalks – stamen not protruding. 

Similar Species

Crow Garlic (Allium vineale).

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Good quality images required particularly showing the two persistent valves of the spathe.


Favours dry, usually steeply sloping, calcareous grasslands, and on open sunny banks.

When to see it

Flowers June to August.

Life History

Bulbous perennial herb.

UK Status

In England its core distribution extends from South Devon, North Somerset and the Lower Severn valley, north to Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, and north-west to Cumberland. Elsewhere it is thinly scattered and often persists in low numbers at single sites, with outliers as far east as Kent and as far north as North Northumberland. It is a rare species in Scotland.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map